Decree absolute issued 4 years after filing for divorce

By Lenore Rice

Four years after filing for divorce, a decree absolute has been issued in respect of the marriage of the Laura Ashley boss, Dr Khoo Kay Peng, and his wife Pauline Chai.

The financial elements of the divorce case had been fiercely contested and the dispute ran on for years, and through several courts. In December 2015 the issue of jurisdiction was settled by the court of appeal in London, after the couple had argued over whether divorce proceedings should take place in England or Malaysia.

A financial settlement is yet to be decided, and the High Court is expected to deliver its ruling later in the year. It is estimated that the couple have between them ran up legal bills of more than £5million.

The case has gathered a lot of media attention, but should be very much seen as a worse case scenario when it comes to divorce proceedings, which does not reflect the experience of the majority of couples who separate. Even couples dealing with the division of high value assets often reach an amicable agreement in their divorce, with more couples turning to mediation and steps such as the collaborative law process, where both parties pledge not to take the matter to court.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.